Happy New Year’s Eve! I’m getting dressed up and going out tonight to celebrate an end to 2015 and a new beginning in the coming year!
As I write the finishing lines of SAAFire and an idea for a new story starts to blossom, I can’t help but reflect on this first draft’s ending. This is the first ending I’ve written since the original draft of this story (and the two sequels I wrote in school). And I mean the first ending of anything longer than 10,000 words. It’s a milestone!
I finished the original first draft (which I like to call the Don’t Remind Me Draft because of it’s middle-school quality) well over 15 years ago. I put SAAFire down and didn’t pick it up with any seriousness for a long time. I don’t even really remember how I ended it way back when.
Now, no ending seems good enough. It’s not big enough, it’s not violent enough, it’s too violent, it does too much or not enough. It doesn’t satisfy, it answers too many questions. It fits the theme, it redefines the theme. Ack! Endings are hard! I’d go back and forth between different scenes, different final speeches, and different climaxes.
I think I’ve hit first-draft-gold as it stands now. I can only hope subsequent drafts will be better.
And pray. Maybe a little.
As we come to the end of 2015, I find a similar effect in my own life. Throughout the year, my focus on writing wavered, my focus on reading wavered, and sometimes I committed to too much while other times I wasn’t doing enough. I was, in turns, overwhelmed and under-worked.
Rewrites and New Beginnings
For the first Wandering Penguins meeting of the year, I have promised a rewrite of my first chapter. I’ve already planned it out, using what I learned about writing over the last year. While I thought the chapter I already have is solid, I think this new version will be better.
Again, paralleling with my own life, what I had planned out for this coming year promises a better-informed, more fulfilling writing path. I have a long, exciting list of books to read and hopefully equally exciting books to write.
Ending a novel can be bittersweet. It certainly feels strange to come to the close of the story I’m going to tell with this manuscript. Sure, I will have extensive rewrites and editing in the near future, but I know the story now. Only the details will change.
Part of 2016 will be finishing a final-final draft of SAAFire. Even though I have a fun new idea that I can’t wait to start, I know I want to publish SAAFire. I know I want to be a full time author. This is the year where I establish those habits and really start to make that dream come true.
What are your New Year’s resolutions? Leave a comment below!